Adamson said computational physics problems often use common aspects to solve many different problems, such as a location grid, a clock, and rules for how things behave on the grid.
TurboPy is a framework to incorporate common items and allow researchers to focus on developing the software code for their specific experiment, similar to allowing musicians to focus on creating music, rather than having to build their instruments from scratch for each song.
“Having a framework that can deal with the basic aspects of a simulation provides great value for a lot of complex physics problems,” said Steve Richardson, research physicist and lead developer of turboPy.
“Having turboPy designed and ready to use for computational scientists will not only speed the development of new codes, but should also enhance compatibility between codes. The students will be contributing to the open source software community, and we get to try something new.”
The researchers plan to put the interns through a virtual “two-week coding boot camp,” but then let them develop their own plans for the summer, acting like a “miniature startup,” eventually helping the turboPy project toward publication in a research journal.
Their virtual work is enabled by Defense Department teleworking tools as well as upgraded NRL processes. The plan also includes one returning graduate student who will serve as an additional mentor for the high school team.
TurboPy is based on turboWAVE, a plasma simulation code developed by Dan Gordon, also a research physicist at NRL. The interns and their graduate student mentor are summer student employees of Syntek Technologies.
About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; and Monterey, California, and employs approximately 2,500 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.